Sustainability Center Moves into New Home

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Tompkins Weekly       5-15-16

By Nick Goldsmith

The Sustainability Center Board of Directors has announced that the center is back in action in its new space in the Ithaca ReUse Center at 214 Elmira Road. Please join us to celebrate this milestone at our grand opening on the evening of Thursday, June 9. Additional details are below.

Until fall 2014, the Sustainability Center was located in a Tompkins County building at the corner of State and Albany streets. Since then, the center has maintained a low level of activity while waiting for its newly renovated space.

“We’re really excited about the new space,” board member and interim director In Shik Lee says. “It’s so accessible, and Ithaca ReUse did a great job with the renovations.
The Sustainability Center occupies an open corner of the ReUse Center, which gives us our own identity, but literally leaves the door open to the collaboration between our organizations that is going to be so important.”

The spirit of collaboration, not just with the ReUse Center, but with sustainability organizations countywide, is already visible in the Sustainability Center’s upcoming events.
Every Saturday, from 3 to 6 p.m., join the Fixer’s Collective, a volunteer group which meets weekly to fix items brought in by community members.

On Friday, May 20, from 7 to 10 a.m., the Sustainability Center will host a free breakfast station for the annual, nationally-celebrated, Bike to Work Day. Join hundreds of people biking to work and enjoy breakfast on us. Bike to Work Day is organized locally by Bike Walk Tompkins.

On Saturday, May 28, from noon to 3 p.m., the Sustainability Center will host the first in a series of tool rehabilitation workshops offered by Building Community, a collaboration among students, faculty and staff at Cornell, and members of the greater craft community in upstate New York.

The set of monthly workshops, open to the public and conducted by a member of Building Community, will focus on the restoration of defunct hand tools and power tools as part of a larger effort to create a mobile tool-lending library out of tools gathered from the community.

In May, bring your hand tools that need blade restoration, or donate your unwanted tools. Future workshops will focus on cable restoration, handle restoration and other topics.

On Thursday, June 9, from 5 to 8 p.m., come celebrate our new space at the Sustainability Center’s Grand Re-opening Party. At 5 p.m. enjoy an after-work group walk from the east end of the Commons to the Sustainability Center, led by the Fall Creek Brass Band. Drop by the center between to enjoy our family-friendly open house with food, music and a short ribbon cutting ceremony featuring Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick.

On Wednesday, June 15, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., the Sustainability Center will host its first At the Crossroads Conversation exploring the intersection of art and entertainment with sustainability.

One way we can create social norms around reducing energy use, transitioning to renewable energy and engaging in other sustainable behaviors is to promote the integration of these concepts into popular culture—whether through music, visual art, circus, theater, or literature. We are planning for a very diverse group of participants, so please help us spread the word. Light dinner options will be available.

Visit our new webpage at to learn about the latest community events taking place at the center, or to get involved in other ways. Part of our mission is to engage and educate our diverse regional community, by leveraging existing efforts. Whether you are interested in holding your next event at the center, in reaching a new audience for your sustainability initiative, or in getting involved by volunteering or joining our expanding board of directors, we want to hear from you. Call us at (607) 288-2468 or email us via our website.

This is a really exciting time for the Sustainability Center. Now that we’re settled into our new space, we can focus on the future, and on realizing our vision of bringing new voices into the sustainability conversation.

The Sustainability Center, located at 214 Elmira Road in Ithaca, is a project of the Center for Transformative Action.

Nick Goldsmith is chairman of the Sustainability Center’s Board of Directors.


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